Deviance and Social Control


The last 30 to 40 years have seen the "frontiers" of criminality and formal modes of punishment expand rapidly, evidenced by sharp increases in imprisonment rates. But the colonisation of deviance and social problems by the criminal justice system raises many further problems: How did the public come to perceive stern law and order campaigns as necessary? What kinds of behaviours are most likely to be reclassified as criminal? Have new modes of social control followed trends in criminal or deviant behaviour? Do contemporary forms of social control operate in a fair and impartial manner or are they governed by power asymmetries grounded in class, sex/gender and race?

This course encourages students to think critically about the contemporary nature of behaviour deemed deviant and social responses to it. We will read from a relatively wide selection of important books and monographs in the area of deviance and social control. The readings are quite diverse: some are more empirical, others are theoretical; some are relatively straightforward, others can be quite difficult and ambiguous. However, all of the readings are regarded as important reference points for anybody interested in thinking about deviance and punishment.

Availability 2024

Not taught in 2024




SOCIOL 742: 30 points